Banking expert: Free checking accounts aren't long for this world


The free checking account as we know it is likely at the start of its death throes.

This is according to Hank Israel, a director at Novantas, a consulting firm for the banking and credit card industry and which, last week, was featured in a WalletPop post about credit card rewards. Israel was interviewed on "The CEO Show," a syndicated radio program, predicting the demise of the free checking account, and when I heard about that, I figured I had to talk to him.

I've been griping for some time now on WalletPop that free checking is hardly free. After all, the average household pays more than 12 overdraft charges a year. At, say, $35 a pop, that's $420 a year -- hardly a free checking account. So I was interested to get Israel's take on the evolution of the free checking account, and sure enough, he didn't disappoint. Israel is a font of knowledge on banking.

So here's the main gist of what we talked about.